Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Save the planet, but risk poisoning your children

Now that the US Congress has legislated the demise of the incandescent light bulb, lets ask a question that the environmental wackos don't want you to ask: What do you do when compact fluorescent cracks? Ask any Facilities Manager, and they'll point to the HAZMAT warning on each box of the tube-bulbs so common in their office buildings.

Today, even though nobody asked me, I'll list the steps listed in the BOSTON GLOBE:

Compact fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of toxic mercury that can
vaporize when the bulbs break, creating a potential health risk for infants,
young children, and pregnant women. If a lamp does break, follow these cleanup
procedures (comments and text emphasis by me):

  • Keep people and pets away. Open windows, and leave the area for 15 minutes before beginning the cleanup.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner, even on a carpet. This will spread the mercury vapor and dust and potentially contaminate the vacuum.
  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Carefully remove the larger pieces and place them in a secure closed container, preferably a glass jar with a metal screw top lid and seal like a
    canning jar. Be careful not to shelve the jar with your own canning (if you happen to can your own fruits/veggies)
  • Next, scoop up the smaller pieces and dust using two stiff pieces of paper such as index cards or playing cards. That's right; be ready to waste a good index card, or ruin a deck of playing cards.
  • Pick up fine particles with duct tape, packing tape, or masking tape, and
    then use a wet wipe or damp paper towel.
  • Put all waste into the glass container, including all material used in the cleanup. Remove the container from your home and call your local solid waste district or municipality for disposal instructions. Depending on your town, you may have to take the hazardous material to a secure dump site; be sure to note how much gas you are using.
  • Continue ventilating the room for several hours. Try not to break any of these bulbs in the winter!
  • Wash your hands and face.
  • As a precaution, consider discarding throw rugs or the area of carpet where the breakage occurred, particularly if the rug is in an area frequented by infants, small children or pregnant women. Otherwise, open windows during the next several times you vacuum the carpet to provide good ventilation. That's right, if you have kids, or are a potential mom, be afraid... be very afraid!
    - SOURCES: Maine Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management; Mercury Policy Project

More evidence of why we need to stop the radical environmentalists before the do irreparable damage!


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